Orazietti announces launch of website to promote public campaign for Bill 149 to improve Highway 17



    4lane17.com Encourages Northerners to Sign On-Line Petition

    SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, April 20 /CNW/ - David Orazietti, MPP is giving
individuals an opportunity to voice their support for an improved Trans Canada
Highway in Northern Ontario through - 4lane17.com - a new website he is
launching today to promote his Private Member's Bill.
    "Northerners deserve a new deal from the Federal government when it comes
to Trans Canada Highway funding and historically there is a greater obligation
that Ottawa needs to live up to," said Orazietti. "This interactive website
will give Northern Ontarians a chance to express their views and support a
project that will improve the economy, safety and quality of life for everyone
in our region."
    Bill 149, an 'Act Respecting the Improvement of Highway 17, Part of the
Trans Canada Highway' passed first reading on October 17, 2006, was introduced
for second reading on October 26, 2006 and has been referred to the Standing
Committee on General Government. The Act calls on the Federal government to
enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the province to improve the Northern
Ontario section of the national highway.
    4lane17.com includes an online petition, a full text copy of Bill 149 and
support from key organizations as well as educational information about the
significance of the Highway 17 portion of the Trans Canada Highway to Northern
Ontario. Today's website launch is a part of a larger public campaign to
improve the highway. Orazietti recently sent out a public petition and city
council resolution to Northern Ontario communities, to be made available
through local municipal offices and city halls. The petitions offer citizens
in communities along Highway 17 an opportunity to support Trans Canada
improvements, as well as an opportunity to impress upon Federal and Provincial
elected representatives the importance of this highway to their region.
Council resolutions will afford the same opportunity to municipal councillors
representing communities across the North.
    "This new website, along with the petitions and resolutions, will give
others an opportunity to share the vision of a modernized Trans Canada Highway
in Northern Ontario, with improved safety measures such as additional passing
lanes, paved shoulders, rumble strips, rest stops, and ultimately a 4-lane
divided highway," said Orazietti.
    The provincial government has committed $843.5 million toward highways in
Northern Ontario alone since 2004/05, but more improvements are needed to
improve safety. The Trans Canada Highway in Northern Ontario has the lowest
percentage of 4-laned highway when compared to any other jurisdiction in the
country at only 10%. Driving on certain portions of Highway 17 can be
dangerous without separated traffic, especially in the winter time when snow
and ice can create a challenge for even the most cautious of drivers. An
annual average of 39 fatalities occur on Highway 17 and Bill 149 insists that
the Federal government return to historic levels of funding to help address
safety concerns and improve one of our most important national links.




For further information:

For further information: David Orazietti at (705)949-6959

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DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP

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